From the time Creighton started playing men’s basketball (1916-1917) through the 1959-1960 season, the Bluejays called the Vinardi Center home. CU went 336-92 in 42 seasons in the on-campus gym, which now stands as home to the basketball practice facility.
Each week of the Creighton men’s basketball season, WBR will catch up with a Creighton coach to report about practice and the state of the program.
This week, we poke our microphone into the huddled media masses at a midweek practice.
Greg McDermott, on the start to conference play, and how the road schedule so far has prepared his team.
“The only thing we’re thinking about right now is Missouri State. They beat us three times last year, and they’re the defending conference champions. They’ve also got one of the best players in the conference in Kyle Weems. The fact that we’ve been ranked for about a month now, and we’ve had to play on the road as a ranked team, will help prepare us for some of what we are going to see on the road in the Valley.”
On familiarity among league foes.
“Your preparation doesn’t change. You recognize the names, though. You don’t have to explain personnel to the players as much because they are familiar with most of the guys we’re going to play against. Conference play is awesome; its fun. Both teams know each other. They both know strengths and weaknesses. Games really come down to execution and toughness. That will be the case tomorrow night.”
On how they try to contain Kyle Weems.
“Hopefully better than we did last year. His numbers a little different this year; he’s not shooting it the same percentage a year ago. I think every coach in the Valley is just hoping that when he breaks out it doesn’t happen to be against his team, because it is just a matter of time. He isn’t going to shoot thirty-eight, thirty-nine percent from the field and low thirties from the three-point line; he’s a much better player than that. He has our full, undivided attention [Wednesday].”
On the leadership Grant Gibbs provides.
“Anyone who has seen us play, when you see Grant’s actions on the floor and how he is getting guys together and how he can get guys up when they are struggling a little bit, knows just what a mature level of understanding of the game he has.”
Grant Gibbs, on the team’s confidence heading into Valley play.
“We are pretty confident with the start we’ve had, and we feel pretty good about where we’re at, but obviously we know we have a lot of work to do. Our conference is really strong this year, starting with Missouri State, and we have to continue to stay focused.”
On playing two of the better teams in the first two conference games.
“It is really important for us to get off to a good start these first two games. Both Missouri State and Wichita State are really talented. They’ve played pretty well, and our conference as a whole is pretty good this year. All of the conference games are tough, and they’re all important, but especially these first two.”
On how tough road wins will factor in to play in the Valley.
“I think those will play a big role. Getting those wins [at San Diego State, at UAB, and at Tulsa] early really helped our confidence, and we’ve been in tough environments. Getting those early wins, for this team in particular, was really important. Hopefully we can carry on with how we executed in those games and how we reacted to adversity.”
Doug McDermott, on how much Gibbs has helped him become a better player this season.
“He has helped a lot, and not just with me. A lot of the guys have really enjoyed playing with him, he just knows where we’re at, and he’s just really an unselfish player. He brings a lot to this team.”
On the road wins in non-conference play helping when league games start.
“They’re huge. The atmospheres we’ve played in, especially at San Diego State, are very comparable to places like Wichita State. The Aztecs are as good a team as anyone in our league. Those road wins give us a lot of confidence heading into MVC play.”